The benefits to being still are literally unbelievable. We are not exaggerating. One would not think that the absence of motion dramatically affects the whole person. However, we are not talking about just sitting around. A stillness practice involves the alignment of body, mind and soul.
There are many ways to practice stillness, and we will not go into them here, but for us practising stillness includes a quiet, comfy spot with a brilliant view of nature and some chilled out instrumental beats or soul-stirring classical tunes.
If you are unaware of the benefits of practising stillness, let us share with you four ways being still has been life-changing for us.
It is easy to let our minds wander and even at times take us to some pretty dark places. Our thoughts can trigger past pain and future worries or fears. Yes, the reason is a battlefield, but there is good news. We each have the power to stop the assault. We can silence unhealthy narratives. We can choose what kind of thoughts occupy our minds. We can all be free of mental clutter and harmful meditations. Practising stillness empties the mind of future predictions and helps to manage moods. It also helps us to learn to stress less and centre our thoughts.
By being still, we cultivate time to listen to ourselves. We can think about what we have been thinking about and analyse how these thoughts have affected our emotions and actions. We also, through stillness, allow our intuition to speak. When it comes to a decision making it is important not only to consider the facts but also to pay attention to our own instincts. If we ask ourselves what we want, we will always choose the path that is the least painful. However, our instincts may tell us otherwise. In short, stillness helps us to hear our hunches.
Watchfulness involves not only being observant or looking closely at what is around us, but also it is the skill of noticing what we notice. Being watchful helps us to live in the present and by doing so we experience joy, wonder and gratitude. Watchfulness also helps us to remain curious. This is important because curiosity assists us in becoming more knowledgeable and better problem solvers. When we are watchful, seemingly ordinary things, like the colour of a strawberry or the shape of a cloud, become interesting and awe-inspiring, adding richness to our lives.
It has been stated by many psychologists that still improving our ability to be creative. A regular stillness practice helps us to gain focus and do deep work. ‘Deep work refers to “cognitive depth”—our ability to work in a state of deep concentration and focus for a long period, without distraction or interruption.’ Also, meditation opens our minds to new ideas by acting like a switch that turns on divergent thinking, allowing us to explore possibilities and heightening our imagination.
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